Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!
  • Did you order new AirTags? We've opened a dedicated AirTags forum.

WhackyNinja

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 6, 2012
1,817
318
Kissimmee, FL
For the purpose of discussion I'd like to ask people here, what are your Top 5 macOS versions for those who've used MacOS for years now and have seen it evolve.

For me its:

5. OS X Mountain Lion - The reason I really enjoyed Mountain Lion was because it did bring a lot of features we would grow to know and love on the Mac from iOS: iMessage, Notes, Reminders, Game Center (even though nobody used it). Notifications were a nice addition to the Mac and overall improved on what made OS X Lion great.

4. macOS Mojave - I love dark mode, finally bringing it to the Mac along side much more improvements and iOS apps coming to the Mac like Stocks, Voice, and News. Also using Stacks on the desktop has been very useful. Mojave was a really much needed improvement to macOS since El Capitan, Sierra, and High Sierra while good really didn't bring a lot to the table for macOS as a whole and honestly were kind of forgettable versions in my opinion.

3. Mac OS X Snow Leopard - This one is pure nostalgia but I hope some people agree with me here, when I first used a Mac the version was Snow Leopard and I immediately fell in love with it. The Aqua interface was beautiful and still kind of holds up today. Also I think that Snow Leopard was the version that I think about when someone mentions Mac OS. I felt like Snow Leopard had a lot of love in its day and honestly I can see why, although not #2 or #1 it still deserves a spot here.

2. OS X Yosemite - Im going to be honest, I'm probably the only one who thinks so here but, Mavericks was trash. It had good features and all but it was just so unstable on my then 2011 MacBook Pro to the point it was just better to run Mountain Lion since it ran smoother. Of course Mavericks eventually got its act together and became a bit more useable so I was kind of skeptical on how Yosemite would run on my aging Mac. I was wrong, and happy that I was. The obvious being Yosemite's beautiful flat design which even though early on iOS 7 it didn't look great on iPhones, really looked beautiful on the Mac plus it was stable and brought a new breath of life into my MacBook Pro.

1. macOS Big Sur - I've been using macOS since 2009, and even though its on Beta 2, Big Sur is the most exciting update to the Mac I've seen since Yosemite. The new look is beautiful (even though it could use some tweaks) I really welcome this neumorphic UI to the Mac and hopefully to iOS in the future. The system runs smoothly and its a nice transition that Apple is going to be making from Intel to ARM. I'm really excited to see where this goes in terms of the Mac but Apple really has the potential to make the Mac great again with Big Sur and I'm excited to see the direction they will take it in.

So that's my list, what's everyone's list and why? Just really want to have it open to discuss
 

loby

macrumors 65816
Jul 1, 2010
1,180
778
I like your list and will probably agree about macOS Big Sur when it comes out in Sept-Oct. Those who liked OS X Yosemite will probably like macOS Big Sur (fresh and modern).

I really think in reality we are influenced (the most) by what worked well on the system(s) that we had at the time the OS came out, though cosmetics does of course play an important role.

My favorite ranked from #1-5 (and still use all of them today in 2020):

1. Snow Leopard (fast; not bloated; "just worked" - i.e. the final version). All time favorite. Made me give up on Windows which was a big deal for those who knew me at the time (almost became a Microsoft Architect if anyone remembers that). Loved the "I'm a Mac" PC vs. Mac war (advertising) during those days...very true in the jokes, but actually based on facts at the time. Runs best on my 13" MacBook Pro 2010 & mac mini 2009.

2. macOS Mojave - stable (Generally overall); balance = functionality; form; the added features were standards (at the time). High Sierra also decent for me...but does not make the list of OS's that I continue to use now. macOS Mojave works well with my Mac Pro 2013 for video editing. macOS Catalina seemed to purposely throttle down video editing processing (maybe to make us buy a new mac pro 2019).

3. OS X Yosemite - liked the concept and newness; had a few issues..but felt light, fast and generally a good experience overall. For me the previous OS X Mavericks worked well, but OS X Yosemite for me seemed overall much better and smoother.

4. OS X Mountain Lion - probably should have been OS X Lion "improved" instead and Apple should have waited and skipped Lion (did not have too many issues with Lion actually as some had, but seemed on the heavy side. Lion needed higher amounts of RAM memory to make it worth using and is considered by many the equivalent of Windows Vista or Windows Me (though I actually liked Vista & Windows Me). Generally smooth experience and a good balance at the time of function and form. OS X Mountain Lion Works fantastic on my 21.5" Fusion iMac 2012. Fusion drive is fast with Mountain Lion, but will eventually put in an SSD as will need to reapply thermal paste and upgrade CPU eventually for longevity. Also, may put Mojave or Catalina on it after.

5. OS X El Capitan - was not terribly excited about it, but it is very stable on my systems that cannot go farther. Still use a mac mini 2009 and OS X El Capitan runs fast on it (8 GB RAM w/ SSD).


**Note: macOS Catalina does well on my MacBook Pro 2018, mac mini 2012 & MacBook Air 2013. Not a favorite..but is acceptable.
 
  • Love
Reactions: WhackyNinja
Comment

WhackyNinja

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 6, 2012
1,817
318
Kissimmee, FL
I like your list and will probably agree about macOS Big Sur when it comes out in Sept-Oct. Those who liked OS X Yosemite will probably like macOS Big Sur (fresh and modern).

I really think in reality we are influenced (the most) by what worked well on the system(s) that we had at the time the OS came out, though cosmetics does of course play an important role.

My favorite ranked from #1-5 (and still use all of them today in 2020):

1. Snow Leopard (fast; not bloated; "just worked" - i.e. the final version). All time favorite. Made me give up on Windows which was a big deal for those who knew me at the time (almost became a Microsoft Architect if anyone remembers that). Loved the "I'm a Mac" PC vs. Mac war (advertising) during those days...very true in the jokes, but actually based on facts at the time. Runs best on my 13" MacBook Pro 2010 & mac mini 2009.

2. macOS Mojave - stable (Generally overall); balance = functionality; form; the added features were standards (at the time). High Sierra also decent for me...but does not make the list of OS's that I continue to use now. macOS Mojave works well with my Mac Pro 2013 for video editing. macOS Catalina seemed to purposely throttle down video editing processing (maybe to make us buy a new mac pro 2019).

3. OS X Yosemite - liked the concept and newness; had a few issues..but felt light, fast and generally a good experience overall. For me the previous OS X Mavericks worked well, but OS X Yosemite for me seemed overall much better and smoother.

4. OS X Mountain Lion - probably should have been OS X Lion "improved" instead and Apple should have waited and skipped Lion (did not have too many issues with Lion actually as some had, but seemed on the heavy side. Lion needed higher amounts of RAM memory to make it worth using and is considered by many the equivalent of Windows Vista or Windows Me (though I actually liked Vista & Windows Me). Generally smooth experience and a good balance at the time of function and form. OS X Mountain Lion Works fantastic on my 21.5" Fusion iMac 2012. Fusion drive is fast with Mountain Lion, but will eventually put in an SSD as will need to reapply thermal paste and upgrade CPU eventually for longevity. Also, may put Mojave or Catalina on it after.

5. OS X El Capitan - was not terribly excited about it, but it is very stable on my systems that cannot go farther. Still use a mac mini 2009 and OS X El Capitan runs fast on it (8 GB RAM w/ SSD).


**Note: macOS Catalina does well on my MacBook Pro 2018, mac mini 2012 & MacBook Air 2013. Not a favorite..but is acceptable.


I don't remember El Capitan as much as I did with Yosemite. It was a good update but like I said in my OP, El Capitan, Sierra and High Sierra were good updates but didn't bring in anything note worthy. They all ran great but in the end were forgettable updates compared to Yosemite and and Mojave. Catalina runs super well on my 2018 MacBook Air just like Mojave did when I got it but Big Sur just makes it run just as smooth and with the new look and granted this is just a beta which makes me excited for how smooth it'll run come release time.
 
Comment

loby

macrumors 65816
Jul 1, 2010
1,180
778
I don't remember El Capitan as much as I did with Yosemite. It was a good update but like I said in my OP, El Capitan, Sierra and High Sierra were good updates but didn't bring in anything note worthy. They all ran great but in the end were forgettable updates compared to Yosemite and and Mojave. Catalina runs super well on my 2018 MacBook Air just like Mojave did when I got it but Big Sur just makes it run just as smooth and with the new look and granted this is just a beta which makes me excited for how smooth it'll run come release time.


I too look forward to Big Sur and will wait until the official release in the fall. I hope the first fall release will be the stablest first release in years.
 
Comment

ArPe

macrumors 65816
May 31, 2020
1,058
2,841
Big Sur - I think this is shaping up to be the best macOS ever

Mojave - pretty good

Mavericks - very mature OS X before the macOS rebrand

Snow Leopard - highly performant and with very useful refinements

Tiger - this was a game changer for Apple and converted a lot of Windows users. Tiger introduced Spotlight, CoreImage and CoreVideo, and was the first to support x86
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.